Friday, November 24, 2017

Isaac Pearson Mansion

            The Hamilton Township Council has approved a long term lease with the Historical Society of Hamilton Township for the 1773 Isaac Pearson Mansion at the corner of Hobson and Emeline Avenues for its preservation and restoration and history programs for the public.  
         The Isaac Pearson Mansion is a historical gem that was recommended in 2005 and approved for the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places in 2006 because of its architectural  and historical significance.  In the 1770s it was the largest mansion in the county second only to the Trent House.  Isaac Pearson, legislator, judge, committeeman and township clerk, married in 1773 and built his new house for his bride, Abigail, on his 1,000 acre farm and estate. 
          The Historical Society of Hamilton Township, Inc., Isaac Pearson Fund, PO Box 11271, Hamilton NJ 08620 is seeking donations to start the first phase of the project.  This is an opportunity to make a tax deductible contribution that will be focused on this project.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Historic Steps in John A. Roebling Memorial Park


                    This staircase was constructed circa 1889 by the Broad Street land Association in conjunction with the creation of Spring lake park on the bluff above.  The steps provided access from Spring Lake Park (1889 - 1906) and, later, White City Park (1907 - 1922) to Spring Lake.  Spring Lake Park was created as a passive recreation park.  A number of amusements sprang up over time.  The steps provided access for romantic walks around the lake or a boat ride on the lake.  White City Park opened as a full-fledged amusement park and was known as the "Coney Island of New Jersey".  Crowds numbering in the thousands were not uncommon.  The slope from top of the bluff along the entire amusement area down to the lake area was a green, lush park setting.  Park visitors looking for a break from the bustle of the amusement rides and attractions would descend to the lake for docile activities previously mentioned.  The building on the left at the top of the bluff - the farmhouse, circa 1820, of Issac DeCou who sold his land to the Broad Street Land Association - became the focal point in both parks as the Casino Restaurant.  It is commonly referred to as the White City Mansion.  It is a private residence.
          Lights were positioned on the staircase at the outer columns of the landing and on the columns at the bottom of the curved staircases.  The area of soil between the inner railings and the outer wall were filled with multi-colored flowers. Two large urns located next to the inner columns at the bottom of the staircases were also filled with flowers.  A flower bed extended around the bottom of the curved wall between the urns.  A banner advertising the Casino Restaurant was hung at the top of the curved wall.
          The section of the steps at the top of the slope have deteriorated and are covered by thick brush in warm weather months.  The newer concrete indicates those sections recently rebuilt by Mercer County to preserve this historic site.

Friday, February 24, 2017

1942: South Broad St at Chambers

Hamilton Township Public Library Local History Collection

     This is the location where Chambers Street enters South Broad Street.  The former firehouse of Rusling Hose Company  is located on the left.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Rowan School

Photograph courtesy of Tom Glover

          This is an image of the former Rowan School.  It was located at Chambers and Rennie Streets.  Today the site is occupied by Fire Station 13, Rusling Hose Company.

Monday, January 16, 2017

John Gladstone

Trenton Evening Times, February 18, 1914

Monday, November 21, 2016

1983: New Firehouse

The Trentonian, April 6, 1983

Firemen To Break Ground
     Groundbreaking for a new firehouse in Hamilton Fire District 3 will be held sunday at noon at South Broad and Chsambers Streets.  residents of the mfire district - who approved a $1.3 million bond issue in February 1982 - are invited to attens.
     Contractors have already nbegun to stake out the empty lot next to the Ruslimg Hose Co. firehouse where the Rowan School used to stand.  Construction on the new firehouse is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
     Bids for the project came in at $810,000 - almost half a million dollars less than expected.  malloy and Duffe of Hamilton Township is the architect and Donald Burris of Burlington County is the general contractor.
     The Board of Fire Commissioners has not decided yet what to do with thw 53-yar-old firehouse now occupied by Rusling Hose.  Once the new one is builty, however, the company will move all equipment there.

Trenton Times, April 11, 1983

The Trentonian, April 11, 1983

Trenton Times, March 24, 1983


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

BSP Troop 9

Sunday Times Advertiser, May 3, 1915


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Sewell Avenue

Sewell Avenue, from South Broad Street, circa 1919
Hamilton Township Public Library Local History Collection

General James F. Rusling of the Broad Street 
Land Association named Sewell Avenue after General William J. Sewell (pictured left) who served with the NJ Volunteers in the Civil War beginning as a captain in 1861, brevetted brigadier general and major general in 1865.  He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1896 for having assumed command of a brigade at Chancellorsville, Virginia, May 3, 1863.  He was a member of the NJ State Senate, 1872-1881, serving as president in 1876, 1879-1880.  He was elected to the US Senate and served from March 4, 1881 to March 3, 1887.   

Monday, June 6, 2016

1941 Lalor School Soccer Champs


Monday, March 7, 2016

Isaac DeCou

          Isaac De Cou's selling of his approximately 250 acre farm to the Broad Street Land Association on January 2, 1889 played an integral role  in the development of Broad Street Park.  See Isaac De Cou Label.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Firehouse at Christmas


               This image shows how  Rusling Hose Company, Fire District 3, decorated the firehouse at South Broad and Rennie Streets during Christmases past.  The two large trees were placed using a crane and the volunteer firemen spent many hours stringing lights.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

BSP Area, 1875


   This historic image shows the land owners in the Lalor and South Broad Street area in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.   Isaac DeCou would sell his farm consisting of approximately 225 acres to the Broad Street Land Association in 1889. Note that Spring Lake had yet to be created below the expertly depicted bluff.  DeCou's farm would later be developed as Broad Street Park, the location of Spring Lake Park and White City Park.  The railroad line was traveled by many Trenton residents to  Spring Lake Park until trolley service was established in 1893.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Former Isaac DeCou Farm

Image courtesy of Suzy Abbott

          The Broad Street Land Association purchased Isaac DeCou's farm in 1889 and filed this development map.  Overlook Avenue between Buchanan and Sewell Avenues was eventually abandoned and the blocks bounded by Buchanan, McClellan and Sewell Avenues became Spring Lake Park (later White City Park).  The square in the center was the location of the DeCou farmhouse which later became the Casino Restaurant in the park. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Trenton's First Volunteer Fire Company

Trenton Sunday Times, July 7, 1929

Drawing by George A. Bradshaw - Text by Rev.Hamilton Schuyler

          Although this is of Trenton and not Broad Street Park, I took the liberty as a firefighter and historian to post this exquisite pen and ink drawing.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Pearson Memorial M.E. Church

Trenton Evening Times, February 19,1939

          The original church was erected in 1858 on land donated by Mary Hopkinson, granddaughter of Isaac Pearson, on the White Horse Road (South Broad Street).  In 1895 the church was renovated and again in 1900.  In 1898 the congregation built a parsonage on land purchased from A.K. Rowan in Broad Street Park.  The parsonage was sold in 1909 and a new parsonage was erected on church property.  The 75th anniversary of the organization of the church and the dedication of a new church were celebrated in May 1932.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A.H. Libensperger Pretzel Factory

627 Lalor Street

                The Libensperger family began making pretzels in Deutzville circa 1892.  A great grandfather and four great uncles in the family served in the Revolutionary War.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Abbott - DeCou Mansion

Abbott - DeCou Mansion
58 Soloff Drive

        Once at the end of a  long lane leading from South Broad Street, the house in which Lacey and Sally Abbott settled was built in 1797.  Lacey was the grandson of Timothy Abbott, the son of John Abbott, who came to this country from England in the early 1700s, and settled on this land later known as Spring Lake Park.  Later John bought land a mile east of the Watson plantation.
                The home is referred to as the old DeCou mansion because Peter DeCou purchased it in 1892.  DeCou's wife, Martha, was known to many as "Aunt Martha," a generous and civic-minded person.  For example, when a school on South Broad Street was necessary, Aunt Martha donated a large plot of land for a playground.  The former DeCou School and the DeCou Hose Company are named in her honor.
                  Source: Old Nottingham, Historical Association of Hamilton Township

         The above image depicts what was originally the rear (north elevation) of the house with the rear (south elevation) toward the Delaware River being the main entrance.  The house is on the National and State Registers.  It is privately owned. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

1898 Broad Street Park Notes

Trenton State Gazette



Saturday, May 16, 2015

Historic White Horse Tavern

WEST, A History of Hamilton Township. 1954

". . .  With the drawbridge (over the Crosswicks Creek) in operation,the route through (Isaac) Pearson's farm was becoming more important, more heavily used.  As a result, construction of a tavern, at what became known as White Horse . . . would likely have been wanted.  (Isaac) Pearson had the tavern built in 1765, according to Helen West's 1954 history of Hamilton Township.  Pearson continued to own the property on which the tavern was built until his death.  Many taverns were rental properties, with the tavernkeeper paying rent to the owner.  Pearson ... leased out his tavern "
                           Source:  US Department of the Interior, National Park Service  

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Undated Spring Lake Photograph

Souce: Trentoniana Collection, Trenton Public Library

          This image of Spring Lake, (White City Lake), may have been taken at the end of the nineteenth century when the lake was created considering the clear and clean landscaping.  This appears to be the lane on the western side of the lake.

Friday, April 24, 2015

1919:Unions Outing at White City Park


     The picture of the Bakery and Confectionery Workers Local Union No. 261 was taken at White City Park after the Labor Day parade mentioned in the newspaper article.  Josef Wagner, bread baker, is pictured third from the left in the second row from the bottom.  Mr. Wagner worked at various bakeries including Tilton's on South Broad Street.  The ribbons were worn on the day the picture was taken.  Appreciation is extended to the anonymous person who provided the images.

Friday, April 17, 2015

RHC Ladies Choral Group

          This image is of the Rusling Hose Company Ladies Auxiliary Choral Group circa 1950s.  Pictured front row, L to R, are Josie Mapps (?), Rose Mannix, Ruth Mycock, Helen Sherman and Doris Belmont (?).  Second row, L to R, are Helen Sitko, Rose Buzinski, Irene Nuel, Gloria Onofri, Doris Petty and June Vaccaro.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

1773: Isaac Pearson House

Isaac Pearson House
Hobson and Emaline Avenues

          The land on which the Isaac Pearson House sits  was originally owned by Thomas Tindall who came to America about 1678.   Isaac married Tindall's granddaughter and built this old mansion in 1773.  The story of Isaac Pearson states that he decided do forsake the continental cause during the Revolutionay War and take the British Oath of Allegiance.   He left his home with a large amount of money and was supposedly headed to New Brunswick to sign the Oath.  He stopped in Hightstown and was allegedly killed by continental soldiers.  He never actually signed the British Oath of Allegiance.  Isaac's granddaughter, Mary, married Thomas Hopkinson, grandson of Francis Hopkinson, signer of the Declaration of Independence.  Mary and her husband lived in the Pearson House and she was instrumental in establishing the Pearsonville M.E. Church.  The church, built near the graves of her ancestors, was completed in 1858.  

Saturday, March 14, 2015

"Aunt Yetti"

Mrs. Episcopo, "Aunt Yetti", (1868 - 1950), managed the Casino Restaurant in White City Park from 1911 to 1922.  She also  served as a Democratic Committeewoman of the 11th District of Hamilton Township.  Her last address was 225 Buchanan Avenue

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

1964: Rowan School, Grade 3


 L to R from the top:  Robin Heim,Greg Oroz, Joe Johnson, Bernard Riehl, Jerome Walker, Jill Hartman, Joyce Williams, Elizabeth Talyor, Eileen Rametti, Marie Valzac, John Leco, ??, Debbie Talyor, Keith ____, Steve Kuzma,, ??, Mike Davis, Arthur Riehl, Karen Bainbridge, Michele Kocan, Debbie Gibson, Eileen Rappaport, Bette Davis, Joann Wilson, Mark Pulguise and Larry Scully. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Saturday, February 14, 2015

1902: Deutzville Outlook

Trenton Sunday Times, June 15, 1902

Saturday, February 7, 2015

1920: BSP Catholic Mission Carnival

Trenton Times, Friday, June 11, 1920

The Broad Street Park Catholic Mission, the predecessor of the Church of the Holy Angels parish, utilizing Gibbs Hall on South Broad Street for meetings and Mass, sponsored this carnival to raise funds to purchase land and build a church. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Deutzville Jewelry Works


     This business was established by Adam C. Deutz and his nephew, Frank E. Arend, in the spring of 1860.  The firm produced gold bracelets that were plain flat bands ranging from one-eigth of an inch to one and one-half inches in width.  When the bracelet industry was at its height, from 1866 to 1873, one thousand dollars worth of gold was used on averqge per week.  The output was over 15,000 pairs of bracelets per year. Gold breastpins and earrings were also manufactured in considerable quantity.  Patrons of the company were dealers in jewelry in New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Chicago and St Louois.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Dr. Torrini's Automobile

Source:  Mary Ellen Hirst Devlin, IATT

          Dr. Anthony A. Torrini lived at 98 Marshall Avenue, Hamilton NJ 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

BSP New Covenant United Methodist Church



          The top photograph depicts the church as it appeared prior to the brick veneering of the exterior structure in 1959 as depicted in the bottom photograph. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Trenton Evening Times, November 27, 1918

       Roller skating took place in the Dancing Academy located at the Buchanan Avenue end of the Park.  It was a good way to work off the large meals many of the skaters most likely consumed and more enjoyable than running around shopping for the "deal" that is the activity for many in today's population.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

1914 : Annabelle Avenue


                  Pictured are homes along unpaved Annabelle Avenue in 1914 .   Edward Reeger developed  27 acres at South Broad and Lalor Streets and named Annabelle Avenue for his daughter.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

1914: Bullet Joe and Sylvia

Trenton Evening Times, Thursday October 15, 1914

Joe was sold to the Boston Red Sox in 1917 and became part of a pitching staff that included Babe Ruth.  Four years later he was traded to the New York Yankees.  On October 14, 1923, Bullet Joe Bush pitched a one run, three hit game as the Yankees beat the New York Giants, 8-1.  The next day the Yankees won their first of many World Series championships.  Sylvia, who was living in Philadelphia,  met Joe through her acquaintance with Weldon Wycoff, another Philadelphia Athletics pitcher.  Various censuses support that Bush was married to Sylvia until at least 1930,  Joe died November 1, 1974.